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What is the importance of establishing grandparents' rights?

Historically, child custody and visitation issues arising from divorce only involved parents. But, recent legal trends now have family law courts considering the importance of grandparents in a child' life and allowing grandparents to gain custody or visitation rights, depending on the circumstances. If you are a grandparent who wants to be more involved in the growth and development of your grandchild, it is important to first learn what your grandparents' rights are. Knowing your rights will allow sound decision making for the benefit of your grandchild.

Generally, grandparents' rights address custody and visitation. Grandparents' rights are often exercised when both parents are deemed unfit to raise a child. In some cases, grandparents can seek visitation rights when the child's parents divorce.

Family law courts allow grandparents to gain visitation rights to their grandchild if it is in the best interests of the child. In cases where both parents are still married, grandparents can still seek visitation rights, as well. The courts will determine if visitation rights for grandparents is in the best interest of the child.

If you are planning to be involved in raising a grandchild, it is important to review state laws that could affect the case. If you decided to seek visitation rights, you have to prove to the court that you can contribute to the growth and development of the child.

Before heading to court, grandparents should first attempt to resolve the issue through alternative methods, such as mediation. You, the grandparent, should first speak with your son or daughter and establish visitation arrangements that take into account your unique circumstances. You may also speak with your legal professional to know how to proceed with the case, especially since this blog post cannot provide specific legal advice for your case. Having a legal professional on your side can be beneficial as custody and visitation rights can be legally perplexing.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Grandparent visitation rights," Accessed on Aug. 28, 2014

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